There will be ‘significant disruption’ across the Southeastern railway network as three days of strike action take place this month.
Rail union RMT says more than 50,000 railway workers across the country will walkout as part of national strike action in the biggest dispute on the network since 1989.
The union will shut down the country’s railway network on 21st, 23rd and 25th June, saying it is due to the inability of rail employers to come to a negotiated settlement with RMT.
The RMT say Network Rail and train operating companies have subjected their staff to multiyear pay freezes and plan to cut thousands of jobs. Despite intense talks with the rail bosses, RMT says it has not been able to secure a pay proposal nor a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies.
Southeastern says: “We expect significant disruption across our whole network on these dates and on the dates in-between. We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause.
“Following yesterday’s notification of action, we are working hard to understand what level of service we can run on these dates, and we will advise our customers as soon as possible. Our expectation is that we will only be able to operate a severely reduced service and we therefore advise customers that they do not travel and make alternative plans instead.
“Our website will have the most up-to-date information about what services will be available during industrial action. We will also keep passengers updated via our email alerts, Twitter, app, and at stations.
“Disruption will not be confined to the Southeastern network. This is a national dispute and the RMT has a mandate for industrial action across 14 train operators and Network Rail. Therefore, industrial action and disruption will impact train services across many parts of the country.”
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Railway workers have been treated appallingly and despite our best efforts in negotiations, the rail industry with the support of the government has failed to take their concerns seriously.
“We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1pc and rising.
“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.
“Rail companies are making at least £500m a year in profits, whilst fat cat rail bosses have been paid millions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This unfairness is fuelling our members anger and their determination to win a fair settlement.
“RMT is open to meaningful negotiations with rail bosses and ministers, but they will need to come up with new proposals to prevent months of disruption on our railways.”